Keeping your existing business clients happy is a key factor in retaining these clients and ensuring your accountancy or bookkeeping practice is stable and profitable.
Even if your firm has no plans to win new clients, there's considerable value in marketing to your existing clients. By using content marketing and social media marketing effectively, you can share practical advice, keep clients informed about compliance/tax changes and raise their opinion of you as a trusted adviser.
According to a Bain & Company report a 5% increase in customer retention produces more than a 25% increase in profit. So if retaining clients is a key aim of the firm, how do you use modern marketing to achieve this?
We’ve outlined 5 key ways to market to your existing clients, and increase engagement.
1. Build Long-term Relationships With Existing Clients
Building great client relationships drives the success of your firm. When there’s a trusted and valued relationship between you and your business clients, that helps retain these clients – and that gives you stability in your revenues, cashflow and profitability.
But professional relationships don’t appear overnight – as with any one-to-one relationship, they come through repeated contact, an eagerness to listen and a desire to help your clients overcome their current business challenges.
To enhance the relationships with your clients:
- Run regular events and webinars – meeting clients in person (or online) helps to increase those touch points, while also sharing meaningful advice. Whether this is a monthly business breakfast event, or a regular webinar for valued customers, it’s a way to increase your perceived value, while also learning more about these businesses.
- Market exclusively to clients – run direct campaigns that focus on the specific pain points experienced by your clients. By targeting your existing client base, you can go deeper with your advice, upsell more services and provide the help that clients need.
- Make the most of your external marketing channels – external content marketing isn’t just for bringing in targets and new prospects. It’s also a way to provide the kinds of content that resonates with your current client base.
2. Improve Client Communications by Using Social Media
Social media is one of the most critical elements of client engagement, providing a cheap, simple and effective way to increase your touch points with key clients in your network.
Social encourages two-way interactions and boosts your ability to communicate directly with your existing clients. This helps the firm to build a rapport, share useful links with your niche audiences and (believe it or not) actually have some fun.
To get the most from your social media:
- Find the channels that work best – LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook are generally the main platforms to focus on, but YouTube, Instagram and even Snapchat or WhatsApp are useful options if video, images and chat functions will add value for your clients.
- Post regular social content – post at least once a day through your main social accounts and remember that social is not a sales channel. Keep the tone light and conversational, and share links and content that’s useful to your audiences.
- Respond, share and interact – social media is a two-way street, so it’s vital to respond to messages and @mentions, to share and retweet interesting posts and to communicate directly with your clients and targets.
- Use analytics to measure performance – using analytics tools, like those in Boma, helps you track and measure the engagement level of your social posts, and refine which clients and audiences are engaging most effectively with your content.
3. Upsell Your Services Using an Effective Website
Creating the most effective website for the firm is a crucial step in achieving the goals you’ve set for your marketing – whether it’s raising your firm’s brand profile, or engaging with your clients.
A well-constructed website is the ‘shop window' for the business, but can also function as an online hub for returning clients and regular viewers. In short, your site is there not just there to generate sales leads, but also to share valuable content and upsell to existing clients.
To make your site deliver:
- Highlight client’s key pain points – put topical business issues at the heart of your site content, with simple explanations of how you help clients to overcome these challenges.
- Give clear overviews of your services – explain your services in simple terms and show how your team works with business clients to negotiate the business journey.
- Use effective calls-to-action – drive your viewers to the desired end destinations on the site, whether that’s your contact page, your blog or a new service landing page.
- Track who’s engaging with the site – use Google analytics to track engagement with your services content, so you can refine and adjust how you market your offerings.
Clear service offerings and effective calls-to-action help to drive your clients through the site. By increasing engagement, you raise awareness of additional services (advisory, tax, software integration etc.) and can up-sell these value-add services to your existing clients.
4. Share Practical Advice and Tips for Free
Free guides and eBooks are downloaded 20 times more than gated versions – so hiding your valuable content away behind a lead generation or paywall page can damage your chances of hitting the right audiences – especially when your aim is to retain clients.
Giving away useful content for free gives your existing clients some genuine practical advice, and reinforces their perception of your brand, your people and your value to their business.
- Share helpful guides and tips – use your website, blog and social media channels to share content that gives your existing clients some genuine practical advice.
- Focus on the most valuable topics – listen to your clients, find out where they most need your knowledge and expertise, and then write content that gives them practical step-by-step advice for resolving their issues.
- Encourage sharing and comments – get a conversation going by engaging clients through your social channels and sharing links to free advice and top tips.
By helping existing clients to improve their cashflow, or choose the best apps or understand their tax year-end better, you reinforce your role as a trusted and experienced adviser.
5. Position Your Partners as Experts in Their Specialism or Industry
Position yourself as a trusted adviser by targeting your marketing spend on personalised content – helping to underline the value of your core expertise as a finance professional.
Ultimately, accountancy and bookkeeping are people industries – your clients stick with you because they enjoy working with you and see the worth in this client relationship. Tailored use of marketing helps you to reinforce and enhance this level of trust.
To elevate your standing as a trusted adviser:
- Raise your personal profile – increase your team’s individual profiles (and the firm's brand) through personal blog posts, featured articles and proactive use of your own personal social media accounts.
- Take on speaking engagements – appearances at events and conferences, or guest spots on webinars, are a great way to get your name known in the marketplace. And being seen as ‘the expert’ strengthens the perception of your professional skill set.
As well as positioning the firm positively in the market, raising your partners individual profiles reassures existing clients that they're working with leaders in your field – and that adds real confidence in the worth and merit of building a relationship with your firm.
Retain Your Clients Through Effective Marketing
By keeping your marketing activity regular, carefully targeted and providing genuine value, you set the foundations for the best possible long-term customer relationships.
When your existing clients feel they’re being looked after and educated, that reinforces their perception of the firm as a valuable partner – and that’s great news when it comes to retaining those clients and increasing the services you offer to them.
About the Author: Steve Ash is a specialist in accounting, marketing, business software and fintech apps.